List of possible M4 replacements

MilitaryTimes has listed the contenders for the M4 replacement. They are:

AR-15 Platform (Direct Gas Impingement):

* Colt ACC Monolithic
* Troy Industries M7A1 (can use either DI or piston system)
* Sabre Defense Industries M5
* S&W MP-4
* Precision Reflex PRI (Upper receiver only. Attaches to M4 lower).

AR-15 Platform (Piston):

* LWRC International M6A4 IAR
* H&K 416
* Knight’s Armament SR-15
* Superior Arms S-15
* Barrett REC7 PDW
* Patriot Ordnance P416

Not based on the AR platform:

* Bushmaster/Magpul ACR
* Sig Sauer 556 Classic
* Robinson Armament XCR

Sig 556 Classic

I am not sure if this list is complete. The Beretta ARX-160 Carbine is conspicuously missing.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • AndyB

    So the XM-8 is entirely out of the running? My understanding is that development is essentially complete and the weapon system was cancelled due to programmatic reasons, nothing technical. It also outperformed the competition in the sand/dust test earlier this year.

  • Sig would be nice, but id bet money against it, they are to expensive for the brass.

  • jdun

    The XM-8 melt under full auto. There were other problems like HK proprietary hardware. Its either the HK way or the highway and the US military didn’t like that.

    The Scar program came out of it so US Special Force won’t be force to use the POS.

  • Mind you, this was just a “show and tell” session, not a formal submission for testing. The US Army hasn’t even written the formal requirements yet for any M4 carbine replacement.

  • john danimath

    I did not know that the Knight’s SR15 is piston. I thought it was direct impingement.

  • Any suggestion from experts out there: Which are the top 5 or 10 brands of AR-15 to buy for military/ LE use? Mil-spec only. I’m trying to decide which to consider to buy before we can’t get them anymore due to tighter gun laws.

  • Wehrwolfe

    I’m pretty sure the 416 outperformed the XM8 back in 2007. I was deployed at the time of the testing, and read the article in The Marine Corps Times. The HK416 had the least amount of stoppages, and beat out the XM8 (made by the same manufacturer). I personally think this factor was considered when HK dropped the XM8. They already had a badass Stoner-influenced weapon with a piston op system and fully modular, also in current use with the U.S. Army’s ODA-D (Delta Force). Add to the fact that its synthetic plastic melted under full auto and it didnt do anything differently as the SCAR model had. The propietary hardware is also a big problem in today’s military. Marine Corps and Army keep a backup line of lower recievers, bolt carrier groups, back up iron sights, buffer springs, etc for low echelon armory repair. With the HK propietary hardware, you cant interchange and fix the problem if it breaks. So if your XM8 shits the bed in a firefight, well….I guess you could use it to club someone.

    In my opinion, the XM8 looks fucking gay. I’m glad it got cancelled. I have no beef at all with futuristic weapons, but it looked a bit too sci-fi for my tastes, something out of a trekkie’s wet dream. I would be one of those Marines extremely reluctant to hold that piece of shit.

    Out of the candidates to replace the M16 and M4 weapon systems, my money is on Magpul/Bushmaster/Remington MPD’s contender, the ACR. I firmly believe in the ACR weapon system and its capabilities. I think it exceeds all requirements for the US armed forces and has the modularity for any mission, with its ability to change barrel lengths and calibers with its low-echelon required barrel trunnion system. I’m a loyal customer to the Magpul Industry. I carry 14 rifle magazines on my rig and 10 of them are Magpul P-Mags. The other 4 are GI issued that I modified with Magpul anti-tilt followers. Magpul is the most innovative firearm accesory manufacturer in the country, hands down. Their polymer components are rugged and durable. I personally hope the new battle rifle will be the awesome ACR. If you dont agree, YouTube the ACR.

  • Destroyer

    wehrwolfe, you need to re-read the sand and dust test. the XM8 plummeted the HK 416. it could have easily been adopted for the NATO rail system, though the project was cancelled: the number one reason is because it was drastically different than the original OICW contract.

  • Jim Dougherty

    It will be decided by lobbyists who pay the most to the selected congressmen that are in charge of the budget and oversight.
    Forget about keeping our troops safe. Congress has already proven itself corrupted and incompetent. Just look at our debt.

  • austin h

    three letters: ACR
    its a reliable and light weight assult rifle that can change to different barrel lenghts and can change calibers; which takes around 2 mins. you can also choose different stocks; one is simaler to the one on the scar; which is my second vote for m4 replacements. the 416 (third vote) has prooven its self for sure but it doesent have the quick change barrel systen that can change your gun from a carbine to basicly an SSR (shortrange sniper rifle) in about 2 mins. the only problem with the ACR is that it still has some problems. (for example, if you put the mag in too quick, it falls right back out when you fire it) still, i think it would prove its self on the battlefieild.

  • Sam Suggs

    scar 17 fuck yeah